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Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite
Giving Back: Memories, Reflections, and Lessons Learned by Edward A. Joseph is a solid and well-written collection of unique, informative articles and essays that touch the heart, teach life lessons, and entertain. There are fifty articles in all and they have appeared in publications such as Chicken Soup for the Soul, Vibrant Life, the Saturday Evening Post, and more. Novels are great vehicles for readers who like to spend a lot of time on a story, but there is something to be said for the short piece, which is perfect for those who prefer the short form, who don't have time to read long novels, or who just like a lot of gems in one place that you can pick up and put down whenever you want. Joseph's succinct, lean style and personable way with words will make you an instant fan.
This author invites you into his world with examples of how to give back, make a difference, and make the most of a situation. He is a teacher in every sense of the word, as well as a naturally gifted writer. You can always learn from the truth, even if it hurts. An example of this would be in the very first story, about his daughter coming back to live with him, and the mixed feelings he initially had. Then she began to help him edit his book, and she told him how to improve in specific areas. In time the process helped both of them in ways they couldn't foresee. Some writers may have glossed over the painful truth to make it sound more golden than it was. But because of his honesty, emotions came to the surface, natural conflict unfolded, and the story ended in satisfaction. Daring to be vulnerable pays off for Joseph time and time again throughout the fifty selections. From penguin puzzles to Kegel exercises, there is something here for everyone. For a volume of short stories, essays, and articles that offer wisdom, tears, insight, and humor, Giving Back: Memories, Reflections, and Lessons Learned by Edward A. Joseph is the perfect gift to give yourself or someone else.